AP NEWS

Handcuffed man beaten in Minnesota jail to receive $525,000

June 4, 2019

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota county agreed to pay $525,000 to a handcuffed man who was shown in a video being punched and kneed by a jailer.

Ramsey County Board Chair Jim McDonough announced the settlement with Terrell Isaiah Wilson on Tuesday. The settlement was announced after a closed-door board session, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Wilson previously had been identified by county officials as Terrell Johnson. Wilson is black; the former corrections officer involved, Travis VanDeWiele, is white.

McDonough said the settlement was reached after he met with attorneys for both sides and a mediator for six hours last week.

“This is a number both sides have agreed to,” McDonough said. “It’s a video that showed actions of our employees in not a good light and showed the impacts on an individual in our community.”

The April 2016 beating was captured on video by a jail supervisor. The video shows other correctional officers watching and not intervening.

VanDeWiele pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct this year and has resigned.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher earlier released the video of the incident, which happened before his term.

Fletcher already is instituting changes at the jail to ensure there is no repeat, McDonough said. Those changes include a new complaint system, de-escalation and cultural competence training and an upgrade in video equipment used in the booking area.

In the video, filmed by an “acting or temporary” correctional sergeant on duty, VanDeWiele is one of about five officers seen removing Wilson from a St. Paul police squad car at the jail.

VanDeWiele repeatedly orders Wilson to sit back as the suspect’s hips remain raised. The video then shows VanDeWiele kneeing Wilson twice in the stomach, causing Wilson to protest and call the officers “pigs.”

When Wilson accuses the officers of using excessive force, VanDeWiele responds: “You ain’t seen excessive force yet” before punching Wilson four times in the torso.

“Please don’t kill me. Please don’t kill me, I’m sorry,” Wilson pleads in the video.

Wilson eventually is secured in the chair and wheeled into jail

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter has called the actions shown in the video “torture.”

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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